that's the real lesson that i try very hard to teach in my book. why would i stand up and support nazis marching through skokie, illinois? i would hope they would slip on a banana peel and end, but i don't want the state to be doing it for us. i want everything to be free. free speech is not free. free speech is very expensive. all the bill of rights come with enormous costs attached to them. we have to strike the balance. we strike and promote justice system, we strike it hopefully in the first amendment area, better 10 things that should not have been allowed to be spoken gets spoken rather than one bd wrote in slate since it. have to strike balances in favor of liberty but do it with some degree of common sense and proportionality. we are a great country. we will survive nazis marching through skokie. we will survive people trying to
talk gay people out of being gay. we will survive pornography. we will survive some weeks international student. what we would have a hard time surviving is a really oppressive regime. i grew up during mccarthyism. i remember that period very well. i never ever want to see a repeat of mccarthyism and the united states. so thank you all very much. what a pleasure. thank you, steve. [applause] >> you are watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs but weekdays feature live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights watch key public policy events. every weekend the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our website and you can join in the conversation on social media sites.
>> i would say that i am working from 93. most writers who say that they write for seven or eight hours a day are exaggerating. you just can't. you sort of lose it after a while. you certainly lose it when you're working on a novel. because your imagination starts to blur after i would say best case about three hours. but even you are writing a nonfiction book, you know, you may be putting three good hours of pounding away and the rest of it, research looking at e-mail, making another cup of coffee, that sort of thing. fiction usually begins with a theme for me. you know, identity, redemption ark, things like that.
but the whole process really picks up steam when i start to ground some of my thoughts in a character who would become a protagonist, and that character becomes sharper and sharper to me. i think i'll ride it is affirmatively good, if only because it leaves a piece of yourself behind. let's say you're blogging alter your 20s, let's say almost no one reads your blog. but 20 years from then you will have children and you can show them what you wrote and they will understand things about you that they might not understand otherwise. what i always say is, writing even in its most basic form, a letter, a palm, a note to someone, it to get immortality. we've all had the experience of loving someone, of losing them, but opening a drawer and find a card that they signed our letter they wrote and sang, still
alive, still alive. so i think, i think the more writing the better. >> any regrets about anything you have written? >> you know, i think the regrets are things tha a good columnist, and i like to think i was a good columnist, gets out before she publishes. knowers you spent a fair amount -- in other words, you spent a fair amount of time at the computer back stabbing yourself when you're writing about you, constantly. and even when you're writing about it then, part of your brain is thinking how will this feeling in 10 years? how unequivocal do i want to be about certain things? so i think you do a lot of -- i wouldn't at all called it censoring. it's more taking the long view. and because of that i don't
really have any regrets about anything i've written. >> any advice? >> yeah, i mean, don't wait for inspiration. i don't know where she is, but she's not coming. or least she's never coming here. i never see her. occasionally there's like a fleeting flyby and then she is gone again and then it's all just about hard work. the hard work part does not largely consist of thinking about it. people say to me all the time, i'm thinking about writing a book and i think, no book ever gets written by think about it at a certain point you just have to sit down and get to sit down with the if you like it or not. and i think too often people think that if you're going to write well, it must be because he wake up in the morning and your heart sinks.
my heart doesn't sing because i cause i think it's not going to be any good. and it takes at least an hour pounded out before i think here we go. and so if you wait for that moment to come before you sit down, you won't do it. >> you are watching booktv on c-span2. here's our primetime lineup for tonight. ..